Little Italy Stories

Rico suave pork torta

Between Mexican Fiesta and Stone, Ed is in danger.

"Things have been pretty horrible in the Congo for decades. So, their coffee is in this beer.”

Best of SD: Filmatic Festival, Earth Fair, OB Restaurant Week, Metaloci, and more this week!

The Filmatic Festival is a four-day event celebrating the works of UCSD faculty and students with the goal of transforming the passive film-going experience into an immersive one. This digital-media exhibition includes interactive installations, films, ...

Sampler Flight: It's the Reader's turn on April 27!

This week, the Reader’s getting in on the ale-driven action!

April 22 | Homebrew Trade & Taste: Little Italy’s original Bottlecraft location is as much a center for craft beer communalism as it is a retail outlet. Helping to foster this well-earned reputation is this ...

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, April 3–April 9

Featuring restaurants, craft brewers, and vintners with food, music, and poetry. Get a taste of 20 Leucadia restaurants plus Sip Stops, with ten beer or wine tastes served at retail shops. Event includes live poetry ...

Ballast Point successfully tweaks Little Italy menu

Local brewing titan gives us a menu the kitchen can actually deliver on.

Selective and careful tinkering of the menu at this massive tasting room has made the food offerings from the local brewer a better match for the atmosphere and style of the cavernous beer hall. Prices run on the steep side considering the small portions, but the food has been dialed in to the point where (instead of making a poorly thought-out bid for sophistication) it makes the best out of being honest bar snacks, burgers, and sandwiches.

Mmm, great tentacles

Octopus is king at Davanti Enoteca

Davanti Enoteca is not a good place to go if you’re looking for a quick meal. I’m sure if you told the waiter you were in a hurry, they’d accommodate you, but the charms of ...

Jim’s got Jimbo’s number

When Jim Heath adopted the name “Reverend Horton Heat” in the ’80s, he didn’t have high hopes for his particular brand of “rock and roll influenced by mid-century American music, especially rockabilly.” “When you’re in ...

Urban hiking in Maple Canyon

A hidden canyon trail in the heart of the city.

Like much of California’s coast, San Diego’s topography is unique. Mountains in the east give way to plateaus, which in turn give way to labyrinths of canyons that eventually find their way into the ocean. ...

Elephants in the room

“After splitting ways with our old label,” says Hills Like Elephants frontman Sean Davenport, “we were told, even though it was them saying they didn’t want to work with us, that we were ‘in breech ...

Shino Sushi + Kappo is a true sleeper

Fine dining hidden in Little Italy without glitz or glamor

Rumors of Shino Sushi + Kappo have percolated up through the usual channels. People say that chef Robert Nakamura —brother of Hane Sushi’s Roger Nakamura — produces elegant and indulgent sushi, having learned a trick ...

Al fresco brunch at Queenstown Public House

New Zealand-themed restaurant brings variety to Little Italy

On lazy, warm weekend mornings, my man and I skip our usual breakfast at home (Greek honey yogurt, almonds, bananas and blueberries), and venture outside to find a relaxing patio and an energizing crowd of ...

Craft/science

After four EPs and three full-lengths, the Dum Dum Girls, masterminded by Dee Dee Penny (née onetime San Diego resident and Grand Ole Party drummer Kristin Welchez, aka Kristin Gundred), seems poised to go ubiquitous, ...

Meet Social Jack’s Craft Brewing Company

Upcoming Little Italy nanobrewery tribute to fallen friend, beer aficionado

So, this guy walks into a bar (University Heights’ Small Bar to be exact), orders a beer, and promptly has it snatched up by a young woman who takes a sip and correctly identifies its ...

Anthology to reopen

Back-door deal

Clarification from the editor We received a letter on March 19 from Mr. Berkson's law firm stating the following facts: Although our client Howard Berkson did at one time have an interest in India Street ...

New menu, new patio for Ballast Point Little Italy

Tasting room expands menu to include more substantial fare, opens patio to relieve mob mentality

The kitchen at Ballast Point’s Little Italy tasting room unveiled an updated menu last week to coincide with the opening of a monstrous (as-yet-undecorated) patio. It’s not a total replacement of the former menu, but ...

Kick out the jams

The Casbah is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month with a slate of local-centric reunions and all-star jams, and it’s hard to pick just one night worth showcasing. For my money, the January 17 Penetrators ...

San Diego Cellars open in Little Italy

A winery in the heart of the city? That's the idea!

While not wholly unique, the concept behind San Diego Cellars is fun. The novelty lies in putting a fully functional winery, kitchen, and tasting room within the confines of the city, rather than exiling winemaking ...

Terraplane Sun doesn't need to show off

If the ’60s taught us anything, it is this: exactly how a rock and roll band should look. As a quintet, Terraplane Sun, which lists Venice Beach as their hometown, surely agree. Pick any British ...

2013’s Most Anticipated Projects

Did new brewery venues live up to the hype?

One of the biggest parts of my job as a beer journalist is keeping up on work-in-progress brewing companies looking to come online throughout the county. The current number of upcoming breweries I’m monitoring is ...

Heffern’s redemption

Interview with Gary Heffern, former frontman for the Penetrators.

2013’s Fastest-Growing Brewing Companies

There was no shortage of evolution this year

The number of brewing companies opening around the county in 2013 was unmatched, and so too was the number of new facilities opened by existing brewing companies. The following is a list of the most ...

Best events in San Diego: December 12–December 18

Thursday | 12 GET TO KNOW CHEESE A complete “cheese 101” course, including history, how it’s made, what to pair, ways to serve, and how to store. Friday | 13 TODDLER TIME: FIVE FEATHERED HENS ...

Waterfront bar customers demand beer

In celebration of 80 Years since Prohibition’s repeal

While the rest of the United States may be up in arms over the Second Amendment or argumentative about the First Amendment, the amendment that is of most concern to the owners and patrons of ...

Kelvin’s Cool Waters

Kelvin’s bartender Jeremy LaFave is helping to liberate palates burnt out on high-juice, high-fructose content of the typical tropical drink. According to LaFave, Kelvin’s Cool Waters is the inspired concoction of mixologist Charlotte Boffey, which ...

Yoga disparaged

The girl can’t help it — she doesn’t like yoga

Title: Towel Required Address: towelrequired.com Author: Cori Holstedt From: Little Italy Blogging since: April 2013 Post Date: September 10, 2013 If workouts could be as trendy as denim-on-denim was in the ’80s, then yoga would ...

Ballast Point building new brewery

The latest and largest link in BP’s rapidly expanding chain

I told of its coming many moons ago. I’ve known of the location for over a month, but kept it under my hat. Now, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits is ready to disclose the location ...

Little Italy: Don't knock the gnocchi

Ed discovers that LI's latest arrival delivers on more than just beer

I'd heard Ballast Point was open. (See Brandon Hernández' extensive pre-opening report.) Loved the idea that this bunch of guys who started as a home brew outfit in a tiny uncool strip-mall got voted small ...

Prepkitchen Little Italy's Dutch Hammer

While Southern California’s live oaks and palms show little of the colors that ignite the landscape of such northern neighbors as Washington and Oregon, San Diego bartender Adam Lockridge honors the harvest season by changing ...

The Fussy Fork

Does anything scream summer like fresh corn?

A blogger eats her way through San Diego in search of vegan restaurants.

Advance Copy: Ballast Point's Menu

The menu from brewery’s upcoming Little Italy venue

Earlier this month, I dished details about Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits’ upcoming combo research and development brewery, taproom, eatery, and beer garden in Little Italy. Today, I’m dishing on the dishes that the restaurant ...

Early Look: Ballast Point in Little Italy

Bursting-at-the-seams company’s new brewery-restaurant

For the better part of its existence, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits epitomized slow craft brewing company growth. Owner Jack White and long-time head brewer Yuseff Cherney seemed content to let Karl Strauss and Stone ...

Another One Bites the Dust

Treadmill roadkill

A gym-goer expresses her phobia of falling off the treadmill and is astounded that somebody would bring a bottle of vodka to drink from before their workout.

Towel Required

So, you think you can Zumba?

So, you think you can Zumba? A blogger does, and she writes about her failure.

Vinyl addiction

Former M Theory record store founder Eric Howarth thins his record collection while at the same time staging “Vinyl Junkies” record swaps.

Ballast Point expanding to Little Italy

Local brewing company going big by going small in niche metro community.

Little Italy Art Royalty

When I rolled into my parking space in Little Italy yesterday, I spotted this guy standing outside: "I think you'll be surprised when you figure out who I am. You should Google me," he said. ...

The appeal of 98 Bottles

Taking their name from a twist on the drawn-out folk song (the 99th bottle presumably being the one in your hand), 98 Bottles lends its own flourishes to the bottle-shop/beer-lounge arrangement that is on the ...

Pardon our dust

Little Italy venue Anthology to close in 2013 for repairs and renovations

Time to jam

Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos did his last Wednesday-night gig at El Camino bar/restaurant on October 31.

Accessible Gourmet Fare

Mid-range restaurants, gastropubs, and shops taking things to the next level.

Nowadays, I spend much of my time eating in restaurants or locked up in my office documenting those experiences. But before I wrote my first word about food, most of my time was spent in ...

More Than the Dish or the Deal

Restaurants you can take to heart.

There are some places that you kinda take to heart. They’re more than the dish or the deal. Something clicks about the people and the place, and you want to come back and be a part of it. These are just some.

When Not in Rome

Napizza arrives from Rome. “Slow is our thing. With yeast, more time equals more flavor.”

Belly-Fillers at Landini's

“Have you decided?” Angelo asks. Can see he’s getting stressed by the growing line.

My buddy John turned me on to Landini’s. He works at Caffe Italia, farther down India Street, here in Little Italy. It was a couple of months back. Friday evening. Spotted John and his buddy ...

R.I.P., Red Velvet

On June 4, I awoke to an otherwise awesome Saturday, fired up the ol’ email, and clicked open a message from one of San Diego’s finest local chefs. What I saw horrified me. One of ...

The Waterfront

“Our liquor license goes back to the end of Prohibition, so we don’t know how long the bar was actually in business,” says Waterfront Bar and Grill co-owner Chad Cline. “We have the oldest license ...

Big History of Little Italy

Peter Corona, a veteran superintendent of numerous school districts in California, was born in 1928 in San Diego’s “Italian Colony,” as Little Italy was first known. He grew up during the Depression and World War ...

Kava Lounge

More hippie than hipster, the Kava Lounge in Middletown specializes in natural, organic cocktails and has played a significant role in cultivating San Diego’s electronic, experimental, and world-music scenes. The lounge was among the first ...

The Waterfront Tavern

"I’m jonesing to get back down to Panama,” says Jeff. “‘Jonesing’?” says this old guy who is seated next to me. “Yeah,” Jeff says. “Like, longing.” Huh. I’d forgotten the word myself. But Jeff, it ...

No Cigar for Craft and Commerce

Craft and Commerce occupies the spot in Little Italy where a wannabe trendy restaurant named Illume briefly bloomed and died, trying to be a magnet for the hip young crowd moving into the nearby condos. ...

Down the Rabbit Hole at Cafe Zucchero

A rabbit? In Little Italy? Can’t believe my eyes. But there he is, hopping up from the trolley tracks and into the bushes of one of those mega-condos near Date Street. This close to downtown? ...

Little Italy Stoplight Makes for Safer Intersection

“I think it’s going to be a lot easier to get on the freeway in the mornings,” said a Little Italy resident before crossing Beech Street on the morning of September 10 with her pug. ...